An investment is only as good as the price you can get when you ultimate divest yourself of it, and it looks like the Dax Foundation’s 2003 investment in the Academy Award statue awarded to Orson Welles for co-authoring the screenplay for Citizen Kane might not have been a wise move.
As we reported back in October, the Dax Foundation had purchased the Oscar statue back in 2003 and was planning to have it auctioned by Sotheby’s earlier this week, hoping to earn anywhere between $800,00 and $1.2 million. However, it failed to find a bidder who would meet the minimum price that the Dax Foundation had placed on it.
Welles’ personal copy of the film’s 156-page script, the last revised draft before the final shooting script, was sold for $97,000 to an anonymous telephone bidder.
I have to admit to some surprise that there wasn’t a single bid that met the reserve price the Oscar had on it. Since the Academy clamped down on the sale of the statues starting in 1950, very few Oscars have hit the auction block and recent years, those that have were bought up by Academy members who then donated them back to the Academy. Steven Spielberg is known to have done this on a couple of occasions and I figured the historical value of this particular Oscar would have pulled an Academy-friendly philanthropist out of the woodwork.